Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search


Our promotional video to celebrate the Berkeley Library:

Launch event, in the Berkeley Library

22 February 2017
After speeches by the Provost of the University, and the Librarian and College Archivist, architectural and cultural historian Ellen Rowley gave a talk on the origins and impact of the Berkeley Library to over one hundred invited guests. Unusually, this event took place while the Library was open, allowing attendees to see the building in full operation.

RTÉ News

23 February 2017
Coverage on RTÉ news bulletins, the Irish national television broadcaster:

The Irish Times

24 February 2017
Coverage in the national paper of record, the Irish Times, both as a full page print article and online:
Online article

Public Lecture: “Handcrafted Brutalism: The story of the Berkeley Library’s making in context”

8 March 2017
Following the launch event, Ellen Rowley reprised her talk on the origins and impact of the Berkeley Library for a wider audience of eighty attendees, followed by a screening of Building for Books, the film produced in 1958 as part of a fundraising campaign for the new library.

Wikipedia workshop facilitated by Wikimedia Community Ireland

15 March 2017
This workshop explored the anatomy of the Wikipedia article and allowed participants to develop the skills to edit and cite content effectively. Participants had the opportunity to contribute to the world’s largest online repository of knowledge through the creation of high-quality content about the Berkeley Library and other important cultural institutions.

Department of Philosophy lecture on Bishop George Berkeley

29 March 2017

Kenneth Pearce, Ussher Assistant Professor in the Trinity College Dublin Philosophy Department, delivered an engaging lecture on the life and ideas of one of Trinity’s most illustrious alumni whose philosophical output places him in the great Western canon.

Friends of the Library lecture: “Not just a building – not just a library”

6 April 2017

Trevor Peare, former Keeper of Readers’ Services in the Library of Trinity College and long-standing champion of the Berkeley Library, offered an intimate portrayal of the building and its inner workings, life and magic, concentrating on the people who had worked there over the first fifty years.

Silence is *NOT* Requested

29-31 May 2017

The Moog Synthesiser went into commercial production in 1967, quickly establishing itself as the archetype for synthesised sound. This event sought to celebrate those fifty years of the Moog together with the first half-century of the Berkeley Library in a manner that would challenge traditional preconceptions about us.

Over three nights, one of our training rooms was completely transformed as a venue for two dozen musicians and poets to perform, in a collaboration with the Department of Music and School of English.

Using the raw concrete textures of the Berkeley Library as a backdrop, 1960s-inspired sonic and visual vistas were explored through the use of analogue synthesizer performance techniques and much more besides.

Each night saw around seventy attendees.

Tea party for retired staff

20 June 2017
This tea party was organised to say thank-you to our retired staff, as an opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues, and to contribute to our ongoing effort to build a social history of the first fifty years of the Library.

It also served to introduce current students from the Lir Academy to our former staff to gather stories to inform their forthcoming piece on the Berkeley (see below).

Silence is Requested: Lir Academy site-specific promenade performances

12-14 July 2017
A site-specific and -responsive piece of work that was researched, created and performed by students of the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College, based primarily on interviews the students had conducted with former students and also in a large part, Library staff. Directed by Irish director and playwright Louise Lowe, this formed part of the formal assessment for their studies.

More details on the LIR performance: Part 1.

More details on the LIR performance: Part 2.

Rough Magic Theatre Company archive donation

28 June 2017
Rough Magic Theatre Company, one of the most influential and beloved theatre companies in Ireland, was founded 25 years ago by members of Dublin University Players. In 2017 they gifted the Library a quarter-century’s worth of their business archives as a birthday present to the Library. The public announcement was a popular summer event held in the Berkeley’s Iveagh Hall as part of the Berkeley50 celebrations.

To give a flavour of the night, here’s playwright Arthur Riordan playing de Valera as a rapper:

Samuel Beckett exhibition

1-31 August 2017

In 1960 Samuel Beckett donated the proceeds of a tour of his play Krapp’s Last Tape to the Berkeley Library fundraising appeal. In August 2017, the Long Room hosted a small exhibition of items from the Library’s Beckett collection to coincide with the annual Samuel Beckett Summer School. This display  highlighted Beckett’s generosity to the Library and included Krapp’s Last Tape materials.

Alumni tour and lecture

25-26 August 2017
A special insiders’ tour of the Library by Library staff to Trinity alumni as part of the College’s annual Alumni Weekend, followed the next day by a talk on the architectural origins and context of the building by Irish architect Donal Hickey.

Refurbishment of Iveagh Hall

September 2017
Autumn saw the transformation of Iveagh hall into a vibrant social learning space with high quality furnishings sympathetic to the iconic brutalist architecture; Autumn also saw the commencement of a once-in-a-generation electrical upgrade to create a safer and more environmentally friendly building.

The Knight’s Move. From Box to Anti-Box: The Berkeley Library at 50

12 October 2017 to 5 January 2018
An exhibition at the Irish Architectural Archive curated by leading Irish architect Donal Hickey, running for two months in the Architecture Gallery of the Archive.

The launch event featured the unveiling of a new architectural model of the Berkeley in the finished design as built, and talks by the Librarian and College Archivist Helen Shenton and the architect Paul Koralek.

More details on the exhibition and Koralek’s visit.

A Conversation with Paul Koralek

13 October 2017
The main event of the year… well over 400 guests came to hear the Berkeley’s architect speak about the Library. The video of the full event is available below.

This also acted as the launch of the book The Berkeley Library and the Veil of Order: Paul Koralek in conversation with John Tuomey, bringing together the text of a 2005 interview with Koralek with some fabulous imagery of the building.

More details on A Conversation with Paul Koralek.

Open House 2017 tours of the Berkeley

14 October 2017
The Berkeley Library was open to the public as part of the Dublin contribution to the international Open House festival, offering a unique opportunity to explore its beautiful concrete textures and forms up close. During four hours and eight tours, two members of Library staff gave tours to over two hundred people.

The Berkeley featured prominently in the video teaser for the weekend:

Launch of FRANC Magazine issue 4

4 November 2017
The Berkeley was one of the key themes of the fourth issue of FRANC Magazine, one of the promising start-up companies emerging from the LaunchBox accelerator programme which is based in the Berkeley Library. The new issue was launched at a packed evening event in the Berkeley’s Iveagh Hall.

To promote the launch, the magazine produced the video below:

More details on the FRANC launch.

Beyond the Berkeley: Ireland and the Sixties

28 November 2017

Dr Carole Holohan is the Assistant Professor in Modern Irish History at Trinity College Dublin. In this lecture Dr Holohan addressed broader societal changes in the decade that gave us the Berkeley Library, with particular attention to how economic, social and cultural developments affected young people, at a time when the meaning of youth, and the nature of youth culture, was changing both in Ireland and internationally.

Berkeley illuminations

4-8 December 2017
To act as our swansong, we pulled together the best of the images and film taken throughout the year, and in the proceeding fifty years, to project on to the facade of the building.

More details on our illuminations.

Main image: FRANC Magazine.